22 August 2009
Let’s be honest, blogging’s a bitch. I mean, I have no shortage of stories to share, advice to bestow and family members to publicly humiliate (in a loving sort of way, of course). But who the hell is reading all this crap?
I have a self-diagnosed case of the Blogging Blahs. Symptoms include frequent, guttural responses such as “who cares?” and “so what?” When things get particularly bad, the disease elicits an “I’m so over it.”
There are kazillions of blogs out there, so much so that it’s virtually impossible to tell a unique story. As I type this, I feel obligated to point out the irony that even this topic—filed under Social Networking Fatigue—has already been widely blogged about.
Sure, I can spin it – heck, spin is how I earn a living – and tell you that according to Google Analytics this blog’s month-over-month readership is up by more than 1000%. Impressive, right? And, it’s even true! But you know Benjamin Disraeli? Me either.* But Mr. Disraeli has a saying that goes something like this, “there are three kinds of lies. Lies, damned lies and statistics” – a quote I came across many years ago while flacking for then research company BizRate.com, so it resonated particularly strongly.
Lemme tell you what 1000% increase really means… this blog has registered only a tad more than 300 hits in the past month. 300 measly hits. Added to that, my biggest fan is my mother, known to my readers as “Grandma Walmart.” And, channeling her, I have just one thing to say, “do you know how much I do for you?”
I actually think about what you would like to read (total lie), what I’d like to write (completely true, and it accounts for 90% of the blogging process), then pound it out on the keyboard (1-2 hours, depending on how good the vino is, although I never condone blogging under the influence), meticulously wordsmith it (another 30 minutes) and, in the last mile, I deal with the somewhat cumbersome process of uploading all this fabulousness to the blog itself (x2 because I post on my H&K Collective Conversations blog, as well as my personal www.SavvyFlack.com blog). When all that’s done, the hard work begins as I beg, whine, plead and ultimately nag my friends, family and co-workers to read it, deluging them with emails, Facebook and Twitter posts, IMs, phone calls and requests sent via carrier pigeons. Wow, who knew flacking was so hard?
My BFF from college, not in the industry, but who humors me by reading my posts and waxing on about how I’m such a great writer, actually suggested I’d increase my readership if I posted more frequently. I retorted, “Your Maid of Honor status has officially been revoked.”**
So, what keeps an academically deficient, single-but-delusional-with-wedding-fantasies flack-by-day/blogger-by-night going, aside from the mile-long list of topics I have yet to opine on? I mean, why not burn the list and do something more rewarding with my time (heading to Bloomie’s comes to mind, but only so I, ahem, may brush up on my knowledge of the commerce landscape in the interest of providing better counsel to my clients***)?
The best answer I can concoct is that it’s my patriotic duty to contribute to the digital clutter. One day Internet inventor Al Gore’s heirs will take on the cause of curbing global pollution and toxic contamination of the digital world, I’ll be retroactively fined (potentially by the word) for my wrongdoings, and the next generation will be forced to clean up my mess. Until then, Red, White & Blog. United States of Blogging. I bleed Blog. It’s as American as Blogger Pie. In Blogging we trust. All for no good reason.
* I typically blame my academic deficiency, which includes an embarrassing lack of knowledge of anything remotely related to literature, on my K-Undergrad schooling in the Texas public school system, but that is the subject of another post; and please, Texans, it’s a joke (mostly), don’t get offended.
** No, I’m not engaged. Far from it, in fact, since my personal mantra is, “Why date when there’s so much good TV to watch?” But that did not diminish the sting.
*** Honestly, check out the Future of Commerce report I co-authored for the agency.